Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Caramel Stuffed Pumpkin Cookies
You know how I love to make tiny little two bite cookies? Well, these suckers are big. Huge, even. A big ol' soft pumpkin cookie, stuffed with caramel and then rolled in cinnamon sugar because, well, why not? The cookies are a wonderful way to tuck in the caramel--perfectly pumpkin flavored with a little spice and sweetness. The caramel is a nice surprise, offering a creamy center wonderfully matched to the pumpkin and spice. You might want to keep all these to yourself, but wouldn't it be better to share? I mean, this is the season of giving. So I decide the best way to share these cookies would be through the 3rd Annual Great Food Blogger Cookie Exchange. Like last year (with these) and the year before (with these), I shared a dozen of these cookies with each of three different food bloggers and in return, I received three lovely packages, each containing a dozen cookies from three other food bloggers
The brain child of Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil and Julie from The Little Kitchen, these ladies put together a group of hundreds of food bloggers sending cookies all over the place for a giant cookie swap. And until today, or the arrival of their cookies, no one knew who they would get cookies from. Building on last year's success, all of the participating bloggers made a donation to Cookies for Kids with Cancer as a requirement for participation. Better still, the money raised was which was matched by some amazing sponsors including OXO, Dixie Crystals, Gold Medal Flour and Grandma's Molasses, leading to a lot of money to help children suffering from cancer. Like over $13,000. I'm so proud to be part of such an awesome group of bloggers.
I had the pleasure of baking these lovely treats for Emily of Carolina Homemade, Genell of Nel's Nook and Stacy at What the Cupcake? The first package I received were these delicious and fun Rocky Road Cookies from Laura at Momables. Chocolate, nuts and marshmallow? Yes, please. Thanks Laura!
And then I received some amazing Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookie Bars from Kara via Kara in the Kitchen. Those were so good--I'm not typically a shortbread fan, but these were amazing! Thanks Kara!
Last but not least, I opened a package from Christina at The Dough Will Rise Again to reveal some fantastic hazelnut sandwich cookies with chocolate creme filling. So good. Really, there aren't words. Thanks Christina!
And no, there aren't any left. Dave and I consumed these pretty quickly. I cannot wait to try these recipes myself!
Getting back to these awesome caramel stuffed pumpkin cookies, I jumped on this recipe from Reeni at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice. I doubled it up to make sure I'd have enough to send everyone a dozen and have a couple extra--which is exactly what I got: one for me and one for Dave. These are really big cookies. Take care to really wrap that caramel in the dough so it doesn't ooze out--even with parchment or a Silpat, you'll still have some sticking if it melts out.And it will stick to the wire racks (learned that the hard way). I also subbed in a bit of pumpkin pie spice for an extra bit of traditional pumpkin dessert flavor. Enjoy these cookies, share with friends, and don't forget to check out all the other cookies in the swap in the round up!
Caramel Stuffed Pumpkin Cookies
1 cup butter, room temperature
3 cups sugar, divided
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups flour
3 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1-2 bags caramel candies (about 36 dozen and few extra), unwrapped
In a the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand held mixer, beat butter until creamy, then add 2 cups of sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add pumpkin and vanilla extract and beat until combined, about 2 additional minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, 3 Tablespoons cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cloves, and ginger.
Gradually add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and stir until just combined. cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
Scoop dough by rounded Tablespoons (I used a medium cookie scoop). Place an unwrapped caramel in the center and work the dough around the caramel, covering completely with cookie dough. Repeat with remaining cookie dough and caramels.
Arrange dough covered caramels on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. Refrigerate dough balls for at least 2 hours or overnight. Note: I used a plastic container, separating layers with waxed paper. I only did this so I could use my baking sheets for something else while these chilled.
Place remaining sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl and whisk to combine.
To bake cookies, roll each ball in cinnamon sugar and arrange on parchment or Silpat lined baking sheets with about 2 inches between each cookie. Note: These cookies will spread, so give them some room. Chill unbaked dough balls between baking.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-14 minutes until edges are set. Turn baking sheet 180 degrees halfway through baking. If using more than one sheet at a time, rotate positions in the oven for more even baking.
Remove from oven and cool on pans for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Makes 38 cookies.
The Cookie Princess
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